Hard drive problem?

hey guys, it seems like my computer has been having issues lately during bootup and during usage. After booting up, it would stay at the screen with my wallpaper with no icons or taskbar for about 5 minutes then finally starts to load the icons/rest of windows. And even after everything is loaded up, my modem is showing that its online and I can connect to xbox live but I cant seem to browse the internet despite my modem saying I'm online. The internet issue then persists for about 10-20 minutes then fixes itself but maybe after an hour or so it happens again and just out of the blue, the browser won't work but it still lets me chat on AIM and stay on any applications that use the internet. Also during the time period when I cannot browse, I either cant load up a program or the program crashes (but I CAN load up files and play music) and I cant shut down the computer by going to the start menu. I've already scanned for viruses/spyware etc and it came clean. Could this be a hard drive problem or something with my internet? Its weird because I'm online and I just cant browse. And the very slow bootup seems to lead me to think its a hard drive problem.
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More about hard drive problem
  1. Have you heard any weird noises coming from the computer? Try downloading a program like ActiveSmart, it can usually diagnose hard drive problems prematurely and very easily. Try that first, to eliminate that possibility, and then we can help you further.
  2. I haven't heard anything weird from the computer. I downloaded activesmart and it says everything is working OK. This time when the browser stopped working and when the computer didnt seem to load any programs except for music files, I resetted the modem to reconnect to the internet and then all the programs I tried to load up earlier all of a sudden all loaded up, and when I reconnected to the internet again the browser worked. Then the browser works for another 30mins or so and stops working again and I have to go through the same procedure.
  3. That problem is no where near your HDD. More like OS.
  4. So should i reformat?
  5. Any ideas? now it takes a VERY long time to even shut down my computer.
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